Another action-packed weekend of knock-out football is upon us. Nyasa Big Bullets are in the capital city to face Silver Strikers on Saturday afternoon at the Bingu National Stadium in the 2019 FISD Challenge Cup second quarter-final match.
The last time the two teams faced off was in the TNM Super League in August and Bullets ran out 3-1 winners at home in Blantyre.
The last time the two teams faced off was in the Bingu Ikhome Bonanza in September at the Bingu National Stadium where Silver beat Bullets 2-1 in a third-place match. That was after The People’s Team earned a 3-1 win against the Area 47 side at Kamuzu Stadium in the TNM Super League a month before.
In the FISD Cup, Bullets and Silver will be meeting for the third time, with the Central Bankers coming out top in all the matches.
This will be the third meeting between the two sides in the FISD Cup, with the Central Bankers coming out top in all the matches.
This is yet another testing encounter for Kalisto Pasuwa’s men who were drawn against the Bankers following a hard fought 4-2 penalty shootout victory over Karonga United after a 1-1 draw in regulation time at Kamuzu Stadium last weekend.
Silver Strikers thrashed Mlatho Mponela 4-0 at Silver Stadium in the Round of 16.
Saturday’s meeting is a repeat of the 2018 clash in the quarter-finals of the same competition at the same venue where Silver came out 2-0 victors, courtesy of Khuda Muyaba and Mike Teteh’s goals.
However, Pasuwa, though admitting that his side is facing a very organized team, is optimistic of progressing to the last four of the competition at the expense of the last season’s runners up.
“It’s a different game altogether and we have to be at our level best if we are to progress to the semifinals of the competition because we are facing a very organized team. We have been creating a lot of goal scoring opportunities but struggle to convert the chances,” said Pasuwa during the week.
The Bullets mentor also stressed out the need to fix his defense, saying conceding week in, week out has not been part of his tactical plan but he is hoping to sort out his defensive problem.
“We are conceding goals at an alarming rate and this must stop if we are to do well in all the competitions. It’s something which we have been working on and I am very positive that a solution will be found very soon so that we are able to defend and win games without conceding goals in every match we play,” he added.
Bullets will be without injured John Lanjesi, MacPhallen Mgwira, Precious Sambani, Pilirani Zonda and Bright Munthali as well as Bashir Maunde, Elias Missi, Ben Manyozo and Ernest Petro who were left out of the team that traveled to Lilongwe on Friday.
Pasuwa has a 23-member squad to select his side to face Silver Strikers on Saturday afternoon, namely:
Ernest Kakhobwe, Rabson Chiyenda, Miracle Gabeya, Sankhani Mkandawire, Charles Petro, Yamikani Fodya, Nickson Nyasulu, Gomegzani Chirwa, Righteous Banda, Fischer Kondowe, Mike Mkwate, Nelson Kangunje, Patrick Phiri, Aziz Mwakifuna, Chimango Kayira, Chimwemwe Idana, Hassan Kajoke, Chiukepo Msowoya, Dalitso Sailesi, Luke Chima, Henry Kabichi, Precious Phiri and Peter Banda.